Just before 9 PM Saturday night, the Eastern District of New York granted temporary emergency stay for valid visa holding individuals who had landed in the United States or were currently in transit in defiance of Donald Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional executive order on immigration.
As the director of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), Dale Ho, tweeted: , “We won. Stay is national. Stay granted.”
The federal court’s ruling offers a semblance of hope for those at risk of harm due to the order, which bans immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. The ban on Syrian refugees is indefinite.
Still, the ruling protects only those currently detained in airports or already in transit. Going forward, the ban remains unchanged. The Trump administration claims that the 90-day visa delay will allow a chance to “adequately” evaluate the “at-risk” seven countries, in order to develop more concrete standing regulations.
The ruling also orders the government to hand over the names of anyone affected by the ban to the ACLU.
Stories of students from major universities who have been barred, such as MIT and Stanford, have gone viral. Some universities, such as the University of Michigan, have published statements revealing that they will keep the immigration status of students confidential, and remain vigilant and protective of them in general. Several schools have yet to speak.
Saturday night’s court ruling originated when two Iraqi men with ties to the U.S. military were detained at JFK. One of them had worked for the U.S. government for 10 years, from 2003 to 2013, as a translator. He was granted a special immigrant visa the day of Trump’s inauguration. The ACLU, Urban Justice Center, and National Immigration Law Center filed a habeas corpus petition for review.
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, tweeted, “I have ordered the Port Authority to reverse its decision regarding the JFK AirTrain. The people of New York will have their voices heard.”
Governor Cuomo’s tone greatly contrasts that of the President.
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” Trump stated at the Pentagon on Friday, upon signing the order.
Two Christian families from Syria were sent back to Doha, Qatar, from Philly.
Calls to action on Facebook and Twitter Saturday stated that there were 50 or more people being detained in Dallas; immigration lawyers were fearful they had been given “expedited removal” documents to sign. A lawyer whose clients were being detained was given one option: “Call the White House.”
Saturday night in Virginia, a federal judge issued a similar order for anyone being detained at Dulles International Airport.
Faiz Shakir, the ACLU’s national political director, told Yahoo News, “”I hope Trump enjoys losing. He’s going to lose so much we’re going to get sick and tired of his losing.”
In the last fifteen years, no perpetrator carrying out terror attacks on U.S. soil came from any of the seven banned nations. In fact, most of the perpetrators of such crimes were U.S. citizens.